The first of hopefully many meetings between Ash Barty and Bianca Andreescu played out in Miami on Saturday afternoon with a limited crowd as the defending Miami champion took on the defending Indian Wells champion for one of the biggest prizes outside of the majors.
Ash Barty certainly led Andreescu know she is here to win right from the off, we saw such a composed start from the Aussie in the opening few games as she raced to a 3-1 lead. It looked like being a straight forward hold for Ash at 3-1 but from 40-15 was made to work for it after some great defensive from Andreescu who picked up that hooked forehand of Barty’s on the run and saw a break point.
One was saved but another came for the Canadian who took her chance to get back on serve.
As quick as the break was retrieved it was lost again. The perfect execution to take a 4-2 lead from Barty who introduced a slice, lob and then to finish a backhand cross court pulling the Canadian around and sneaking ahead once more.
A frustrated Andreescu couldn’t keep in contact with the world number one and after back to back break of serves a hold to love to consolidate put the defending champion in a good position to take the first set.
Bianca was going to make Ash work for it, she held serve and begun to ask questions following some sloppy hitting from the Aussie but she cruised to take the set 6-3.
The one way traffic continued as Barty went up a double break in the second set but in the third game there was a concern for Andreescu who rolled on her right ankle requiring treatment but after an ace for 4-0, it was the end of the match in Miami.
The Canadian broke down in tears and that signalled the end of the tournament and Ash Barty’s successful title defence in Miami and defending a title for the first.
Big congratulations to Ash but also big hope that Bianca will be fine and we see her on clay in a few weeks!